A touch of Morocco in Pakenham

Star News Group reporters with Moroccan journalism students. Pictures: SCOTT BRIDGES

By Mitchell Clarke

A delegation of Moroccan journalism students visited Star News Group headquarters on Thursday 23 January to gain an insight into local news production in Australia.

The visit was coordinated by not-for-profit organisation Australia-Middle East Journalism Exchange (AMEJE), which enhances cross-cultural understanding between the next generation of journalists in Australia and the Middle East-North Africa region.

AMEJE managing director Scott Bridges has previously facilitated two successful study tours through Deakin University to Morocco and has welcomed four students from Rabat’s Institut Superieur de I’Information et de la Communication (ISIC).

This is the group’s first tour to Australia where they are based out of Deakin University and are visiting professional and cultural institutions while working on collaborative projects.

“In the contemporary media environment, truly local news is more important than ever,” Mr Bridges said.

“We’re really grateful to Star News Group for the opportunity to visit the newsroom and speak to journalists from the Pakenham Gazette and other publications.”

The visit provided a chance for Star’s journalists to speak with Moroccan journalists.

“Our visit to the Pakenham Gazette was an opportunity to discover how reporters actually achieve teamwork tasks and enabled me to see the opportunities and challenges they encounter,” delegate Khadija Boufous said.

“The visit was beneficial for me as a Moroccan journalist in terms of reporting and investigating.

“Our discussion with the Pakenham Gazette’s staff about the current state of the press and its freedom in Australia and Morocco was eye opening. It raised a lot of issues in my mind that I can talk about in my upcoming articles.”

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